Monday, May 16, 2022

Haredim, not Arabs or Iran, are the biggest threat to Israel - opinion

It’s not from the Palestinians, important though they are (as I argued on these pages), nor from the wider Arab world or even Iran. The greatest danger is from within: the rapidly expanding haredi state-within-a-state whose current dynamic cannot continue without ending the country’s brittle tenure as a Western-style democracy with per capita income to rival Britain or France.


  1. They make a good point. An increasingly larger proportion of the Jewish population is functionally illiterate in the real world and incapable of contributing to the economy.

  2. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 17, 2022 at 6:37 PM

    I'd disagree on at least 2 counts:

    1) this caricature of "Haredi ape-men" who don't believe in evolution is just wrong. Many are affluent, technologically tuned, and astute players in the political and economic world.

    2) As the population grows, then economic pressure also grows - as does diversity. So it is easy to point at Gur monks who live as ascetics, or maniacs in Neturei karta. But many mainstream chareidim do work, run businesses or stores, and do contribute.

    Many years ago i had the same kind of discussion with a typical secular Israeli (beautiful) young lady. One of the points I made is that even if indirectly, the Hareidim contribute to the economy - they B'H have children, who need clothes, food, and housing - they must somehow contribute to the real estate economy, to the food and clothing industries, pay VAT, etc. In America, Satmar have built a town for themselves, and have their own businesses , so the model may also be valid in Israel.

    I remember back in the 70s, and 80s, Israeli /Zionists were moaning about population growth, and how they need more people both to settle and build up the land and to counter Arab birth rates. hareidim are doing this even without being "zionists".
    (I also remember how we used to campaign to free Soviet jewry, but chareidim complain about how they are not jews or proper converts).


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